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Arch Biochem Biophys. 2004 Aug 15;428(2):170-8.

Molecular cloning and biological characterization of novel antimicrobial peptides, pilosulin 3 and pilosulin 4, from a species of the Australian ant genus Myrmecia.

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Neuroscience Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), 1-1-1 Higashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8566, Japan.


Venom of an Australian ant species of the Myrmecia pilosula species complex (mss. name Myrmecia banksi Taylor) contains two major allergenic peptides, pilosulin 1 and pilosulin 2. To obtain novel cDNA clones that encode the pilosulin-related bioactive peptides, mRNA of another Myrmecia species was subjected to RT-PCR in which the forward primer corresponds to a nucleotide sequence in the leader sequences of pilosulin 1 and pilosulin 2. As a result, we isolated cDNA clones encoding the novel antimicrobial peptides pilosulin 3 and pilosulin 4. The nucleotide and the amino acid sequences of all four pilosulins have high homology except for the mature peptide coding regions. Synthetic pilosulin 3 and pilosulin 4 peptides displayed antimicrobial activity with histamine-releasing and low hemolytic activities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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